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Aug 3, 2006 09:33 PM

Authentic Sichuan Hot Pot in NoVa

I had it in China. I've been reading about it lately and I really, really want some. Any suggestions on the best Chinese (not Korean) Hot Pot in NoVa?

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  1. Sichuan hot pot comes in two versions (at least), Chongqing and Chengdu. Neither of them is really available in the DC area, though a facsimile of the latter is available in the unlikely location of the Chinese buffet restaurant in Baileys Crossroads (not sure of the name), or at another Chinese buffet called Peter Pan on Route 50 at Fairfax Circle (near where Lotte World is located).

    1 Reply
    1. re: James G

      It's also available at the Dragon Sea buffet in Springfield.

    2. You're probably thinking of the Bamboo Buffet in the shopping center on Jefferson St. across from the Skyline Plaza. I think it's run by Koreans, at least the food seems to have that bent.

      1. for the uninitiated, what is the difference between chongqing and chengdu?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Soup

          Well, they are different cities for one. James G might be able to give you a hotpot-specific answer. In my limited experience I would sum it up by saying the average Chongqing dish is characterized by stronger and spicier tastes than Chengdu food. But by experience doesn't exactly allow for easy apples to apples comparison...for example the Chongquing chicken dish i had at Sich Vill Tuesday was significantly hotter and stronger than the Chengdu fish&tofu, which was pretty spicy itself. Both were quite tasty.

        2. I cannot be 100% sure, but it is my impression that Chongqing hotpot is much spicier than Chengdu hotpot, which is a bit more 'subtle' (though they're both quite spicy). Chongqing is also far more well-known for its hotpot than is Chengdu.

          1. I think the upstairs (or maybe it is downstairs) portion of Tony Cheng's restaurant in China town has it in addition to the mongolian bbq.

            In terms of the two type, I think one is a very spicy beef based broth that is brown, the other is a milder white (or clear) broth.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rcheng

              I was back at Sichuan Village this week with a pile of friends. The owner's daughter translated the Hot Pot menu into English for us. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, we did order so much food that all the wait staff took turns walking by our table (which was in the corner in the upper room on the left). Yes, my friend accidentally ate a whole pile of chili peppers and szechuan peppercorns he fished out of the pot with his mushroom. Yes, my Norwegian guests did snort beer out of their nose upon seeing the color of my friends face turn from white to red like a cornered lobster. Yes, my friend did slur his uprintable response due to the fact that he lost control of his tongue.

              And yes, I can't wait to go back for more.

              1. re: utmonster

                Is this the place at 14005 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, Chantilly, VA 20151 ?

                1. re: Soup

                  That is the one. I would make sure to get half spicy / half regular. The spicy is HOT, you'll love it, but will need the regular one to cool down the tongue once in awhile. Their fish works wonderfully in the Hot Pot.